Matheson, Ont. businesswoman victim of online hacking and has a warning to others
TIMMINS -- A businesswoman from Matheson, a community east of Timmins, is reminding others to do their research before setting up an online payment system after she says hers was hacked.
Kara Trussler of Trussler's Pantry says she was shocked to discover thousands of dollars was missing from bank account over the Easter long weekend.
When Trussler started up her online business in 2014, she decided to open up a PayPal account to give clients an online payment option.
But on Easter Monday, her book keeper alerted her to several large withdrawals that had taken place. Trussler said it appeared a hacker accessed her bank account via her PayPal account and about $20,000 vanished.
"My business account manager was on it right away," she said. "Froze all the accounts, created new ones. We did a police report."
Ontario Provincial Police are investigating, but will not comment. They remind people to monitor their bank accounts.
"Often hackers start with small amounts and then they grow those amounts through time," said Ontario Provincial Police Const. Michelle Simard.
"If they're not being noticed, they kind of start to increase in amount. So as soon as you notice those kind of strange activities through your bank account, call your bank immediately. That's your best source to try to get you the help."
Trussler told CTV News she has tried many times to contact PayPal, and is not pleased with the company's customer service. She says she has yet to reach someone to discuss the matter and her advice to other business owners is to do their research.
"Find out what their policies are," she said. "See if they have somebody personally that you can contact if you ever got into a mess before moving forward with them."
Provincial police also suggest people change their online banking passwords regularly.
CTV News contacted PayPal's Canadian media relations department, but it would not address Trussler's issue. Instead, it issued the following statement:
"The security of our customers’ information is a top priority for PayPal. At PayPal, we proactively work with law enforcement agencies, industry partners and use our own systems to detect fraud, but we also remind people to be careful to protect themselves from criminals who operate online.
"If someone has used your PayPal account without your knowledge or approval, you are covered 100 per cent by PayPal's unauthorized transactions program."
That statement gives Trussler little comfort, but she's relieved she got her money back thanks to her bank.